Lots of politics, lots of misinformation, lots of chaff over the flotilla/blockade/raid/deaths.
I’ve seen footage of Israeli soldiers rapelling to the deck of a ship and being met by a bunch of people beating them with poles. The flotilla’s twitter feed says there’s video of soldiers landing and opening fire but I haven’t seen that anywhere. These might have been on different boats, it’s hard to know. The exact course of events during this raid will be picked over at length, as will the legal basis for Israel’s action and for resistance to that action by people on the boats.
Unchanged is the bigger picture. The blockade of Gaza is a massive collective punishment. Basic supplies in the territory are insufficient. Previous aid shipments have been turned away. Israeli ambassador on Radio NZ this morning said that the flotilla was a political provocation; of course it was. The flotilla wanted to either make it through the blockade, or to be stopped by it and arrested and deported; either way they get political wins. Israel’s decision to drop armed commandoes on to the flotilla at 4.30am was a bizarre answer to what was essentially a political problem. Surely there are other ways to stop ships arriving in a blaze of publicity to test your blockade, ways that don’t risk the deaths of unarmed civilians, or indeed risk the deaths of Israeli personnel.
There is already massive international condemnation for Israel’s actions in this raid. Rightly so. But I can’t help but wonder how there is any way back to peace. Israel is increasingly isolated politically, even the US is standing at a distance from it now, but its status as a regional power is undisputed. If there’s any way to wind back the pressure in the Middle East, I just can’t see it. And the only other way to go is towards confrontation.
It’s an unhappy day.
5 thoughts on “Gaza Flotilla”
Props for not jumping to conclusions and posting a knee jerk like some other commentators.
I agree with Samm. I think it might be why there have been no comments until now: your well-worded post has driven home that it’s very unclear what happened.
The spin coming from every side on this is making me very wary of leaping to any conclusions, except a “WTF” response to what seems to be a pretty poorly planned / incompetent operation from the Israelis.
I pity those who only obtain information from the 6pm news, but that’s a general statement rather than specifically about this case.
It just seems obvious to me that the trend out of Israel in the last three years has been to go further and further beyond the bounds of international acceptability. It’s kinda scary. The rules on the ground there are different now than they were in 2005 when Cal and I visited Israel/Palestine, and they were already different then from 2000 and earlier. Not in a good direction.
Argh. Happy distractions, please.
Heard an interesting theory over the weekend that might explain why Israel made such a cock-up of handling this aid flotila; the “US and the WMDs” theory.
Israel, so captured by its paranoid groupthink about Hamas and anything to do with Hamas convinced itself the flotila was running guns into Gaza, and they went in full force knowing that they’d be able to demonstrate captured weapons etc to the media afterwards.
And, like with US and the WMDs in Iraq, by the time they found out the other side was telling the truth it was too late, the disaster had occured and the world’s condemnation was raining down.
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